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Mine Creek Revelations: Rollover Blues

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY. In my last two columns I reported to you that if you wanted a Valentine’s card delivered locally on Saturday, the day before Valentine’s Day, you should put it in the mail on Friday.

So I took my own advice. I mailed a grand total of three cards.

Two cards made it to Maumelle, Ark., Saturday, to my daughter and granddaughter.

But the one I mailed to the Navigator — who lives less than a half-mile from my house — was not delivered.

I couldn’t even call the Post Office to complain Monday. They were having a holiday.

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FUND-RAISING IDEA for the University of Arkansas. Sell the seats in the top half of Bud Walton Arena. You’ll never need them again and now may be the best chance to get top dollar for them at a garage sale.

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JUST THIS SIDE of ‘Old Washington,’ Monday morning, my odometer rolled over to 188,888.

I was watching and waiting for the number to change, and thankfully I did not swerve off the road waiting for the great event. I confess to you, also, that my eye was more on the last digit of the odometer than it was on the oncoming traffic lane.

It occurred to me that ‘rolled over’ is now a misnomer — something only oldtimer drivers would understand. The odometer on older vehicles really did roll over. You could watch as the 9 slowly rolled over to 0.

But now, the number just — BING — electronically changes; 9 becomes 0 in the blink of an eye.

My attention span is so short that I feared I’d miss the blink of an eye from 188,887 to 188,888. But I didn’t. Bing.

It also occurred to me that I’ve owned or driven a vehicle since 1966. That’s five decades of vehicle ownership starting with that used Chevrolet Corvair I purchased with all of the US Savings Bonds I managed to save during my hellion Navy days.

My ‘new’ ride is a 2007 mid-size pickup truck. Back when I was driving the Corvair and some of its successors, a buggy with 188,888 miles would be terrifically old. I mean, you had to begin thinking about a brand new — or a newer used — buggy when your odometer rolled over to 88,888 because the danged thing was getting ready to fall apart.

Buggies just last longer now. Don’t tell me “They don’t make ‘em like they used to,” because ‘they’ make ‘em better. You’re welcome, Gary Dan.

I’ve only owned one foreign buggy. It was a VW. I gave in to the urge for a VW while I was still in college but I stoopidly did not get the Beetle. The VW Beetle was known for sipping gasoline and being mostly trouble-free. Not the air conditioned VW Fastback I stoopidly bought.

The hard lesson I learned was that once you got away from the no-frills Beetle, you were no longer driving a gas-sipping trouble-free buggy.

My 2007 GMC pickup model is going to have to acquire a just few more miles before it gets traded off. Sorry about that, Gary Dan.

It has only needed two or three repair calls during those years, and those things were pretty minor. Frankly, I’m impressed. It has been a gas-sipping trouble-free buggy.

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ANIMAL CRACKERS. A disturbance on the patio caught my attention Saturday morning. I looked out my kitchen window and saw a squirrel messing around with the entrance hole of a bluebird box which hangs on my utility room wall. There were some bluebirds which were frantically fluttering around the squirrel, but they weren’t having much luck driving it away.

I fetched my trusty Red Ryder BB gun and took a potshot at Mr. Squirrel. Missed him, but it drove him off. When I inspected the bluebird box it appeared that the squirrel was trying to chew his way inside. I suspect he was widening the hole so he could have a home. Don’t know if there baby bluebirds inside the box, probably not. But the bluebirds wanted no part of Mr. Squirrel because they probably had ideas of homesteading that box later when things warm up here.

I am pleased to report that Mr. Squirrel has NOT figgered a way around the baffle on the nearby pole which holds a bird feeder. But, just give  him a little time.

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THINGS I LEARNED from reading email: Respect is mutual, if you don’t respect others viewpoints, chances are they won’t acknowledge yours.

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HE SAID: “Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.” DALAI LAMA, spiritual leader

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SHE SAID: “What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose.” MARGARET THATCHER, UK prime minister

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SWEET DREAMS, Baby